16 October, 2011

The Progression

First I got a lovely skein of yarn from a friend.

Gifted Helen's Lace, original color
It sat in my stash for a year - or three - and then I got the brilliant idea to overdye it because the colors are just a little too variegated for my taste.

Helen's Lace, overdyed with Jaquard Sapphire Blue
It goes from looking like autumn in Vermont to storm-tossed seas, which inspired its use in a lace pattern called - appropriately enough - High Seas. Then came the inevitable "looking like bubble bath stage."

It is at this point that I always have to go back through my knitting photos and remind myself that I am not screwing up the pattern and to soldier through it. Then I get to the end and I gleefully drop it in a bowl of water to soak; pull out my blocking mats, wires, and pins; squeeze the shawl as dry as I can; then lay it out on the mats to pin.

At this point I usually get "help."

I stretch and pin and stretch some more until the lace creaks. It's a delightfully creepy sound, and it always rides that line between glee and terror that some thread will snap and all my hard work will be for naught. (Homophones are funny! Work with me here.)

Then I chase the cat out, let the piece dry, and get to my favorite part: pulling out the wires and pins. The shawl just stays where I pinned it, all openwork and flat where hours before there was a curled up, bumpy mess.

"Rafting on the High Seas," Helen's lace overdye, 920 yards.
Then I give it to my cousin for her wedding, we go hang out on a boat in the San Francisco Bay, and the whole family gets delightfully sauced while watching the Snowbirds fly overhead during Fleet Week.

Mom, THB, Skye (BFF of the bride), and me. 
On second thought, that last bit might be my favorite part.